Dear TA Families,

Recently, the Governor mandated that all public and private school remain closed until April 6th. In accordance with this, Tuscaloosa Academy will extend its closure for in person classes until April 6th. At that time, we will reevaluate the current situation and the decision to reopen or remain closed. As previously stated, our faculty and administration have been using this week to plan a move to remote learning. We will officially make that move on Monday, March 30th. Tomorrow you will receive specific plans from your child’s dean with instructions for their classes and what to expect. Please remember this will be a very fluid and flexible process. Faculty, administration, students and parents will all have responsibilities during this process to help ensure a successful transition.

The additional goal of this letter is to hopefully address some broader topics and also outline teacher and student expectations. As you receive this letter today, you will be able to visit our website where we have posted contact information for key team members. We will also be providing links to previous and current communication from the school. This will give you an additional resource in case you cannot find a previous letter or other communication. Whether we reopen this school year or not, the decision has been made that we will not have final exams at the end of the year for grades 5-12. This means that each quarter will be weighted the same and averaged for a semester grade. AP exams will be handled differently, and if that applies to your student you will receive additional information from Ms. Sutton. Also, due to the new social distancing guidelines, any incomplete community service hours will be waived for this year only. All I ask is that you find a way as a family to serve the Tuscaloosa community when you have the chance. Our hope is that this will lessen the burden for parents and students as we transition into remote learning.

Teachers and students will have different responsibilities during this process. Outlined below are a few things that you should expect your student to be doing and also what teachers will be expected to do as well. Students should set up a distraction free work environment, create a school routine, log in to class on time, email teachers when there is an issue or question, be proactive, complete assignments on time and be ready to learn. Teachers will be expected to answer emails daily (within 24 hours), be flexible, keep up with regular grading and assignments, set up virtual conferences when needed with parents and students and find creative ways to engage student learning. If students have technical difficulties during this time that prevent them from participating in class, they should email their teacher and a tech team member. For any technical issues, upper school students will email Mrs. Scheiring, middle school will email Mrs. Woods and lower school will email Mrs. Henderson. Again, communication and flexibility will be vitally important during this time.

Lastly, I would like to say how proud I am of the hard work of our teachers. They have really come up with creative ways to engage our students. You have no idea how much our TA families mean to everyone here at school. We all miss the kids being here, but are going to do our best to make things feel as normal as possible. If you have family and at home school activities to share during this time, please email them to Elizabeth Fleet at efleet@tuscaloosaacademy.org so that we can see what everyone is up to. Thank you again for being supportive of the school. I have confidence that our TA family will come out of this stronger than ever. Go Knights!

Sincerely, 
Bryan Oliver, Ph.D.
Head of School
Tuscaloosa Academy